Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 2 of 2

Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas - Part 2 of 2Earning Swag Bucks a little at time grows your balance. To compound the amount of Swag Bucks, one must reach the daily goal for at least 7 days.

As one reaches the daily goal, the next day’s daily goal will increase. If you are aiming at earning money for Christmas or another occasion, Swag Bucks works.

I earned $40 in Amazon gift cards in August by using Swag Bucks throughout July. Not all Swag Bucks are equal. Some require more time than others.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to earn Swag Bucks. Piggybacking on the previous post of Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 1 of 2, the following is a list of options I used to reach my daily goals each day of July which resulted in reaching the monthly goals:

Add Swag Codes Immediately

Using the Swag Bucks Chrome extension, a popup window alerts me when a swag code is available. I click on the lock icon to see if a swag code is available. If there is one, then it tells me where to look (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)

Once I find the code, I enter it in the “enter Swag code” through the extension or on my Swag Bucks homepage. I am then granted the Swag Bucks. These are usually 2-5 Swag Bucks per code. Typically, I found 2-3 swag codes available each day.

Check your Swag Bucks Inbox

If you use the Swag Bucks toolbar, then a bubble with a number indicates how many messages are in your inbox. Some of these messages indicate how to earn extra Swag Bucks. Sometimes the offers require qualifications and signing up for a trial. Those types of offers I omitted. During the month of July, I earned all my Swag Bucks without spending any money.

Answer Surveys

Under the “answer” tab on the Swag Bucks task bar, find the survey option. I found the following helpful for earning Swag Bucks:

Daily Surveys

Earn 60 Swag Bucks for each survey you complete. Hopefully, you qualify quickly. You can only earn 60 Swag Bucks per day which is one complete survey per day through this option.

I usually started with this survey. If I did not qualify, then I moved on to the Peanut Lab option.

Peanut Lab Surveys

Under this option, I found the surveys at Peanut Labs and Radium One the most beneficial. I could usually find at least one survey from either of these for which I qualified each day. Many days, I reached my daily goal easily with one of these surveys. There are other surveys with other companies, but I never found them helpful.

If you listen to music often, then you might benefit from RadioLoyalty. For every half hour of music you play, a CAPTCHA code appears. If you enter that code, then you earn 5 Swag Bucks. No limit is listed, so earn all day long.

Survey Dashboard

This option gives a list of available surveys with the amount of Swag Bucks earned and the approximate time investment. If you start a survey and end up not qualifying, then you will earn 1 Swag Buck. You can earn up to 5 Swag Bucks each day for none-qualifying surveys.

Know that some of the surveys are quite lengthy, and you could spend 20 minutes taking the survey to then discover you don’t qualify. Some are kind and let you know within 2 minutes of the survey. These surveys are hit or miss. However, if you fill out the personal profile, then you have a better chance of qualifying when you select a recommended survey.

Complete Tasks

The tasks options found under the “answer” tab on the Swag Bucks homepage, allowed me to earn 3-10 Swag Bucks per task. Most of the tasks require a “bookmarklet.” I downloaded it once and bookmarked it. Then I placed it on my bookmark bar.

When I worked on a task, I just clicked on the bookmarklet on my bar to save time. I found these tasks pretty easy, but some were complicated. If you get stuck, then I suggest quitting  it and moving on to another one.

These tasks are great for getting those extra Swag Bucks needed to meet your daily goal. I turned to these when I did not find a survey for which I qualified. It took more time, but I was able to quickly earn the Swag Bucks needed.

Reading Excerpts

Found under the “discover” tab, select “read” to earn Swag Bucks for reading. These are easy to do. Once you complete them, they will not reset until the next month. I used these on busy days when my time was limited. Once you complete these offers, they will remain used until the next month.

Watch Videos

Under the Watch tab on the Swag Bucks homepage, lots of videos are available for viewing. These videos range in length from 2-5 minutes each. For every 10 videos watched or played, you will receive 3 Swag Bucks. You can earn up to 150 per day.

This option takes lots of time. However, if you have a lot of sitting or waiting to do, then this option is easy. Just press the button to play, and then check it in a few minutes to hit play again.

In using time wisely, I had the videos running while I was making dinner, cleaning for a few minutes, or doing laundry. I muted the sound, accomplished tasks, and earned Swag Bucks.

Play Games

Though I enjoy playing games, I did not find playing games through Swag Bucks very profitable. Though I won, I spent more time playing than I did earning. I only won 2 Swag Bucks per game. If you play often and enjoy the games available, then play and earn. In using time wisely, you can earn Swag Bucks faster other ways.

This post is crammed with lots of information from my July experiment. I was thrilled with the results of my investment of time, but it was an investment of time. In using time wisely, you may not be able to earn the daily or the monthly goals. However, you can continue to earn Swag Bucks.

I am not actively filling out surveys and tracking my daily goal. However, I search daily and am thrilled when I earn.

Swag Bucks is not for everyone. But it is one way for earning extra money for Christmas or any other occasion. In stretching your dollars, Swag Bucks is available with an investment of time.

In sharing my experience, I hope to point you to those options that will pay off with your investment of time. Happy searching and earning with Swag Bucks!

Question: In what ways have you earned Swag Bucks?

Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 1 of 2

Tracy with books earned with Swag BucksIf you are feeling the squeeze this year with increasing costs for almost everything, then you are not alone. Prices are rising, and Christmas is less than 2 months away.

Did you just get a knot in your stomach at the mention of Christmas? I’m sorry. This post is not to magnify your limited resources, but rather to give you hope for earning money for Christmas. Realize that time is on your side for earning $5 Amazon gift cards or other rewards through Swag Bucks.

Though I have written about Swag Bucks in a beginning, intermediate, and advanced series, I recently found Swag Bucks the solution when I needed some extra funds.

You see, I had exhausted our home schooling budget and still needed some reading books not available at our library or at the used book store, so I turned to Swag Bucks.

By earning Swag Bucks each day, I earned $40 in Amazon gift cards in one month. I chose this amount because I could get FREE shipping with any $35 order. However, I could not redeem all those Swag Bucks until August due to the limit of 5 identical rewards per month.

Though there are various ways to earn, here’s how I earned those rewards:

1. Completed the To Do List each day of July.

Swag Bucks offers 4 easy items on the To Do List that can be completed each day for Swag Bucks. The To Do List, located on the left sidebar, is as follows:

a. Daily Crave: Watch two videos and earn 1 Swag Buck
b. Toolbar: Use the Chrome Swag Bucks toolbar and earn 1 Swag Buck
c. Daily Poll: Take the poll to earn 1 Swag Buck
d. NOSO: Skip through the offers and enter the captcha code provided to earn 2 Swag Bucks

2. Search at least three times each day.

Swag Bucks are randomly awarded for searching. However, once you win, you won’t get another reward for a few hours. In using time wisely, I would search in the morning until I earned, then in the afternoon until I earned, and then again in the evening. This way, I was receiving 7-20 Swag Bucks for each session of searching.

My son enjoyed searching and earning the Swag Bucks for me. I appreciated his efforts in helping me get through the month as it was definitely an investment of time.

3. Reach Daily Goal and Bonus Goal every day of the month.

The goal Swag Bucks are not deposited into your account until the first week of the next calendar month. Since I was earning during July, I received these Swag Bucks in August.

a. Daily Goal: Your daily goal is located in the left sidebar. A green bar will show how close you are to earning your daily goal. When I started in July, my goal was 30 Swag Bucks. By the time I reached day 31, my goal was 110. The goal does increase, but the rewards were worth the investment.

If you reach your daily goal each day of the month, then you will earn a bonus of 300 Swag Bucks in the next month for being a monthly master. The winning streak tab on the left sidebar will document your progress throughout the month. If you miss a day, then the badge you have reached will hold while your winning streak starts over.

b. Bonus Goal: After you reach your daily goal, you can earn more Swag Bucks for a bonus. These bonus goals are added together and awarded in the next month. I earned an additional 235 Swag Bucks throughout July which arrived in my account on August 5th.

Earning Swag Bucks is one way to prepare for Christmas. Though it is FREE, you will need to determine how much time you can invest into earning Swag Bucks. On some days, I could earn Swag Bucks within one hour while other days took close to two hours. I committed to the 31 days and reaped the rewards of that investment.

Swag Bucks has its perks. I loved purchasing the 6 books we needed for home schooling by using the gift cards earned. My son loved being a part of the process as he knew the goal as I searched and took surveys. He helped and checked the progress with me throughout the month.

One will not get rich by using Swag Bucks, but you can earn some extra gift cards to offset the cost of gifts for Christmas. In using time wisely, Swag Bucks was a good option in July. However, I could not do it now that home school takes so much of my time. I only offer this suggestion as I know times are difficult, but there is a way if you have the time to invest.

In the next post, I’ll share ways that I earned Swag Bucks to reach my daily goal. If you need money for Christmas, then plan to start earning Swag Bucks daily on Wednesday, October 1. Happy choosing!

Question: Have you found Swag Bucks’ rewards worth the investment of time?

Chick-fil-A: September Calendar Card Deal

022If you purchased or received the Chick-fil-A calendar for 2014 and have used your card to redeem for FREE offers, then you quickly made your $6 back. Our family purchased four cards for our family because we love Chick-fil-A.

With the September calendar card deal of a FREE breakfast entrée and a large Coca-cola drink, my children and I headed to Chick-fil-A on Friday morning. Having worked really hard this week, we were able to take Friday off.

We spent the day making a quick doctor’s visit before heading to Chick-fil-A for breakfast. Mr. 9 ordered a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit while the girls chose Chick-fil-A biscuits, and I selected the chicken, egg, and cheese bagel. Yum! The drinks were huge but came in handy while playing with our friends for 4 hours at the park.

Though you may not get to make a special outing out of the September calendar card deal, you can redeem your offer for a FREE breakfast entrée and a large Coca-cola drink. Just remember, your offer must be redeemed by September 30, 2014, as the deal will reset on October 1. Happy planning!

Question: What is your favorite breakfast option at Chick-fil-A?

Guest Post: Inexpensive vs. Cheap: A New Commitment

Guest Post: Inexpensive vs. Cheap: A New CommitmentAs a researcher, I love the topic Keith Benton brings to Using Time Wisely. Before purchasing items, I read reviews and compare models to determine the best product that will meet our needs.

Sometimes we need a device with all the bells and whistles, while other times a basic version will suffice. 

During this stage, I am weighing  inexpensive vs. cheap. Keith gives helpful information regarding the differences and making choices. I hope you will have a better understanding of these two terms after reading his explanation.

Upon deciding which model will work the best, then I start searching for deals. Sometimes, I have to wait a bit, but the deals do come. Happy wisely choosing! ~ Tracy

Inexpensive vs. Cheap: A New Commitment

Guest Post: Inexpensive vs. Cheap: A New Commitment

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

The influx of large discount department stores has raised new concerns for their shoppers. More and more people are faced with the question: “Am I getting a cheap or inexpensive item by shopping here?”

This has become a valid concern for many because there is a significant cost difference between cheap and inexpensive items.  One item may provide you with short-term savings, but cost you a lot in the future, and vice versa. To know the difference, let’s define inexpensive and cheap.

The Difference

For me, inexpensive has always meant the object (food or material good) costs less compared to other items of similar quality. An example of this is carrots. I have gone to two different grocery stores on two different occasions and found the price of carrots fluctuated significantly. One store carried the same bag and brand of carrots for $1.39, and one had it for $3.10. Since the quality of the carrots is the same (same expiration date), I would consider the $1.39 bag of carrots relatively inexpensive.

Cheap to me has always referred to the quality of an item compared to its price. Let’s look at one example I recently encountered.  A few months ago I had to purchase new running shoes. My old shoes had lost their tread and cushion. Blisters were on their way if I didn’t buy new shoes.  Instead of sticking with the brand of running shoes I always bought, I decided to branch out. I bought a different brand that cost $10.00 less.

After wearing the new shoes for two weeks, I had already worn out the tread, blown out the side of one of the shoes, and torn the laces. My last pair had lasted over two years! Why?  Unlike the carrot example, the shoes did not offer the same quality at a discounted price. They weren’t inexpensive; they were cheap.

They were discounted because they were made of a brittle material and not the same material as the good pair of running shoes.  A poorer quality material usually costs less to manufacture. It is imperative that you determine the difference in quality and price before you buy.

Commit: Save Money and Time in the Long Run

So, why consider inexpensive vs. cheap at the store? Buying inexpensive items can save you time and money in the long run as compared to cheap items. This holds true for services too.

Commit to changing your mind set when buying or hiring goods and services. When there is only 24 hours in a day, the last thing you want to do is waste time buying and repairing goods that should have lasted in the first place.

I have included a list of simple inexpensive vs. cheap items/chores to help you start thinking about differences in items and services. This list is not always true or accurate, but was designed to help you start considering the differences in goods and services when you shop. Happy shopping!

                          Inexpensive                                             Cheap

            (Discount Price & Good Quality)                  (Discount Price & Poor Quality)

Good Condition Brand Name Jeans from Thrift Store Thinly Made Jeans at New Cost
Ingredient Rich Bulk Section Dog Food Ingredient Poor Bagged Dog Food
Discount Carpet Cleaning Service Replacing your Carpet With New Thinly Made Material
Buying an Xbox 360 on Craigslist with Games and Controller Buying a New Xbox with No Games and No Controllers
Yard Sale Titanium Mtn Bike Aluminum Mtn Bike Brand New

Keith Benton is a writer and researcher for everything home improvement. He spends his time educating and advocating that individuals take time to improve not only their home, but their life.

JCP Optical: $30 Kids’ Glasses through September 15, 2014

JCP Optical: $30 Kids’ Glasses through September 15, 2014

Photograph Credit: JCP Optical

Due to a change in our eye doctor’s location last year, we had a number of issues with our eye insurance company. Though we worked out the details and received all our benefits, we did not have our eye exams until August.

Usually seeing our doctor at the beginning of the year, I was learning the sale schedules which I found much better during the summer. Choosing to keep our eye appointments around the same time, I scheduled both Mr. 9 and Miss 7’s appointment for the end of July.

They both did really well having their eyes dilated and wearing their snazzy glasses for the afternoon. Once again, Miss 7 has perfect eye sight.

Mr. 9’s glasses are doing well, and he had a very slight change to his prescription. Since we can continue to use his 2 pairs from last year as backups, we only need one pair of glasses for him this year.

As I considered where to purchase his glasses, I started with JCP Optical where we found the best deal last year. Once again, I was thrilled to find a similar deal. Though $5 more than last year, I still find $30 a great deal for a quality pair of glasses.

With our insurance company reimbursing for any pair of glasses up to $120, we will be purchasing a pair of the $30 kids’ glasses soon.

$30 Kids’ Glasses

The $30 Kids’ Glasses promotion at JCP Optical continues through September 15, 2014. This offer includes any kids’ frame up to $120, FREE impact and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses, FREE UV protection and FREE eyeglass protection plan for any school-aged child 16 and under.

With only a tweak in Mr. 9’s prescription, we will have 3 pairs of glasses for him to use. If he had needed a brand new prescription, then we would choose to purchase two pairs at this price. We would only get reimbursed from insurance for one pair, but $30 for a second pair is worth the cost should he break the first pair.

TRACY’s NOTE: The FREE eyeglass protection plan means that you do not have to pay extra for the protection. However, should the glasses break and you need to use the protection plan, there is a $19.99 deductible for each repair.

This is why we chose to purchase a second pair last year to have an immediate backup. Our JCP Optical would need to send the glasses away for repair leaving the wearer without a pair of glasses.

While stretching our dollars, we will purchase the $30 kids’ glasses for Mr. 9. Upon receipt, I will submit to our insurance company for reimbursement. In stretching our dollars, JCP Optical helps us get the needed equipment while staying within our budget.

In using time wisely to research our options, I’m thankful for JCP Optical’s $30 Kids’ Glasses promotion which continues through September 15, 2014. Happy savings!

Question: Where do you find deals on vision care?